MNF Ravens at Steelers
MNF Ravens at Steelers
Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Oddsmakers currently have the Steelers listed as 6-point favorites versus the Ravens, while the game's total is sitting at 34.
The Ravens defeated Cleveland 28-10 as a 2.5-point favorite in Week 3. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (37).
Le'Ron McClain rushed for 66 yards on 17 carries with a pair of touchdowns for Baltimore, while Joe Flacco passed for 129 yards with two interceptions in the win.
The Steelers lost to Philadelphia 15-6 as a 3.5-point underdog in Week 3. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (45).
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 131 yards with an interception before leaving with a wrist injury for Pittsburgh, while Willie Parker was held to 20 yards on 13 carries.
Baltimore has won 2 straight games.
Baltimore: 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS
Pittsburgh: 2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS
Baltimore most recently:
When playing in September are 7-3
When playing on grass are 5-5
After outgaining opponent are 6-4
When playing within the division are 5-5
Pittsburgh most recently:
When playing in September are 6-4
When playing on grass are 6-4
After being outgained are 7-3
When playing within the division are 8-2
A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Baltimore's last 7 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
Baltimore is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Pittsburgh
Baltimore is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Pittsburgh
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Baltimore's last 9 games
Pittsburgh is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Baltimore
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Pittsburgh's last 7 games when playing at home against Baltimore
Pittsburgh is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 7 games at home
Baltimore home to Tennessee, Sunday, October 5
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville, Sunday, October 5
Re: MNF Ravens at Steelers
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
By Brian Edwards
First place in the AFC North will be at stake when Pittsburgh (2-1 straight up, 1-2 against the spread) plays host to Baltimore on Monday Night Football to conclude Week 4 in the NFL.
Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened the Steelers as seven-point favorites with a total of 36. However, with running back Willie Parker ruled “out” with a sprained left knee, the number has been adjusted to 5 ½, while the total has dipped down to 34. The Ravens are plus 190 on the money line (risk $100 to win $190 if Baltimore wins outright).
Baltimore (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) is off a dominant 28-10 home win over Cleveland as a 2 ½-point favorite. After trailing 10-7 at halftime, the Ravens outscored the Browns 21-0 in the third quarter. Le’Ron McClain ran for a pair of touchdowns and Ed Reed had a 32-yard interception return for a score.
Baltimore’s defense was in Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson’s face all day. Terrell Suggs had two of the Ravens’ five sacks, and they forced Anderson into three interceptions.
John Harbaugh’s team opened the season with a 17-10 home win over Cincinnati as a two-point underdog. In Week 2, the Ravens saw their game at Houston postponed due the damage caused to Reliant Stadium by Hurricane Ike.
Mike Tomlin’s squad suffered its first loss of the year last week, falling 15-6 at Philadelphia as a 3 ½-point underdog. The Steelers couldn’t get anything going on the ground against the Eagles, who limited them to just 33 rushing yards.
When Pittsburgh turned to its aerial attack, it couldn’t protect Ben Roethlisberger, who was already playing with a bum shoulder. Big Ben was sacked eight times and forced out of the game with a hand injury.
Roethlisberger will play this week even though his hand and shoulder are still ailing. He’s sure to face the same sort of relentless pressure from a Baltimore ‘D’ that loves to blitz and play aggressive just like Jim Johnson’s unit in Philadelphia.
With the AFC’s second-leading rusher in Parker out of the lineup, rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall from out of Illinois will get the starting nod. He has just 28 yards on 10 carries this season.
Before the loss to the Eagles, the Steelers beat Houston 38-17 as 6 ½-point favorites. They knocked off Cleveland 10-6 in Week 2 as seven-point road ‘chalk.’ The ‘under’ has cashed in two straight Pittsburgh games, but the ‘over’ hit in its lone previous home game against the Texans.
Not only is Parker out for the Steelers, but they will also be without one of the NFL’s premier nose tackles. Casey Hampton will miss the game with a groin injury. Baltimore will play without starting cornerback Samari Rolle, who is nursing injuries to his neck and shoulder.
Rookie QB Joe Flacco will be making his first career road start. The Delaware product inherited his job when Kyle Boller was placed on injured reserve and Troy Smith fell ill. Flacco hasn’t been asked to do too much, managing the game and allowing the Ravens’ vaunted defense to do its thing.
Flacco has completed 58.3 percent of his throws for 258 yards. He hasn’t thrown a TD yet compared to two interceptions. Flacco’s most important stat is his team’s 2-0 record, though, and we should mention a 38-yard TD scramble in the win over the Bengals.
Baltimore has won four of the last five head-to-head meetings against Pittsburgh.
ESPN will provide television coverage for this 8:35 p.m. Eastern kick-off.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--Roethlisberger has completed 66.7 percent of his passes with a 3/1 touchdown-interception ratio.
--Offensive Player of the Week: Jets QB Brett Favre – He had a career day in his second home game at the Meadowlands. Favre connected on 24-of-34 passes for 289 yards and six TDs. The Jets beat the Cardinals 56-35.
--Defensive Player of the Week: San Diego DT Luis Castillo – He had five tackles and 1.5 sacks, but his biggest play was a QB pressure that forced JaMarcus Russell into an incomplete pass on a fourth-and-four play at around midfield with less than two minutes left.
--Special Teams Player of the Week: Tampa Bay PK Matt Bryant - He made all three of his field-goal attempts and all three extra points one day after burying his three-month old son Tryson, who passed away in his sleep earlier this week. Bryant's kicks were the difference in a 30-21 home win over Green Bay.
--Miracle Cover of the Week: San Diego 28-18 over Oakland as an 8 ½-point favorite. If you had an Oakland ticket, I feel for you. The Raiders led 15-0 at halftime. They led 15-3 at the end of the third quarter. The Chargers outscored Oakland 25-3 in the fourth quarter, capped by a 41-yard LaDainian Tomlinson TD run with 1:04 remaining.
--The Honorable Mention Miracle Cover had me on the winning side. That was the ‘over’ for KC-Denver. Larry Johnson had a similar last-minute TD run like Tomlinson’s that allowed ‘over’ backers to cash. Sweet, I love it when that happens.
--The Falcons continue to be predictable. Gamblers want to back Atlanta at home and fade it on the road. Mike Smith’s team has taken the cash in home games against Detroit and Kansas City, but Tampa Bay and Carolina have won both SU and ATS when the Falcons have gone on the road. Look for this trend to continue with rookie QB Matt Ryan taking his lumps on the road and playing better at home.
Re: MNF Ravens at Steelers
MNF Ravens-Steelers: What's on the line
By T.O. WHENHAM
There is something to be said for Monday Night Football games with high profile teams and flashy players, but for my money the best games are usually those between teams with a long history of hating each other. That is definitely the case this week as Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh. But will this one be any good? It's hard to tell.
The public can't decide what they think in this game - the bets are pretty evenly distributed between the two teams, though the public has moved towards the Steelers in larger numbers as the week has progressed. Despite that, the line has been on the move to make Pittsburgh more attractive - it opened with Pittsburgh favored by a touchdown, but that has dropped down to five in a lot of places. That suggests that the books aren't afraid of Pittsburgh action.
As with most games, the central story here is the quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger has had a solid year statistically, but it's his durability that's the question. He's not exactly the least injured quarterback in the league, and this year has been no different. He's had a shoulder problem, and last week it looked like he broke his hand. He didn't, and he has been cleared to practice and play, but it's hard to believe that he is at his best - especially since he seems to get sacked almost every time he touches the ball.
Of course, much less than his best is still better than what Joe Flacco has to offer at this point in his career. Flacco has shown flashes of promise this year, and he's unbeaten as a starter, but he still looks more like he belongs in Delaware for now than Baltimore. He'll likely get better, but really the best that can be hoped for now is that he minimizes the mistakes and manages the game. Baltimore is used to that - Trent Dilfer followed that exact approach all the way to the Super Bowl.
Despite solid stats for Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh offense just hasn't worked. They are ranked 29th in the league, ahead of just Cleveland, Cincinnati, and St.Louis. Hardly esteemed company. That's a good part of the reason why their last two games have been low scoring defensive battles. The other reason is that the Steelers' defense is second best in the league by the numbers, behind only Baltimore.
With two teams that have offensive issues and stout defenses, you'd think this could be one of those places where the public goes against their normal habit of taking the over in every game. But of course it's not - the public needs more than this to break their over habit. The total is set as low as 33.5, and the public money is strongly on the over. The number has dropped from where it opened at 36, so the books clearly aren't afraid of the over action, either.
The teams have combined for four wins and just one loss, but arguably the loss is the only meaningful result. The wins have all come against lightweight competition - the Ravens have rolled through the two pitiful teams from Ohio, and the Steelers eased past the Browns in a defensive snooze-fest and crushed the Texans. Pittsburgh's loss to Philadelphia was the most revealing.
It showed that while Pittsburgh is clearly a solid team they are a step behind the elite. That, coupled with a Baltimore team we really know little about, leads us to a game that certainly has the potential to be the least exciting we have seen so far on Monday night despite the rivalry. Unless you really like defense.
Re: MNF Ravens at Steelers
Baltimore (2-0 SU and ATS) at Pittsburgh (2-1, 1-2 ATS)
The surprising Ravens try to make it three in a row to open the season as they travel to Heinz Field to take on the Steelers in an AFC North showdown.
Baltimore has opened with home wins over Cincinnati in Week 1 (17-10 as one-point ‘dogs) and Cleveland in Week 3 (28-10 as one-point favorites), while a Week 2 game at the Texans postponed because of Hurricane Ike. As usual, it’s the defense doing the damage for the Ravens, who lead the NFL in total defense at 161.5 yards per game allowed. Pittsburgh has the second stingiest defense, giving up 234 ypg.
The Steelers got knocked around at Philadelphia last week, losing 15-6 as 3½-point ‘dogs. QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times and left with a hand injury in the fourth quarter but is scheduled to be in the lineup tonight. However, RB Willie Parker, who sprained his knee against the Eagles, will not play, leaving the ball-carrying duties in the hands of rookie Rashard Mendenhall.
Baltimore has won four of the last five SU and ATS against the Steelers and six of the last nine SU and ATS dating back to 2003. However, the home team is 9-1 SU (7-3 ATS) in the last 10 series clashes, with the host winning and cashing in both battles last year. That includes the Steelers’ 38-7 rout at home as a 9½-point favorite in 2007.
The Ravens are just 1-5 (3-3 ATS) on the road in Monday Night Football, while Pittsburgh is an astounding 22-5 (19-8 ATS) in the Steel City on Mondays and 35-22 (34-22-1 ATS) overall in this showcase contest. However, the Steelers have failed to cash in four of their last five on Monday.
Baltimore is 9-3 ATS in Week 4 the last 12 seasons, but otherwise the Ravens are on pointspread slides of 5-14 overall, 6-21 on the road, 4-11 against the AFC and 2-5 in September. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is only 3-7 ATS in its last 10 against the AFC, but the Steelers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 at Heinz Field and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 following a non-cover.
The under is 9-4-3 in the Ravens’ last 16 September games, but otherwise the over is on runs for Baltimore of 7-2 overall, 7-2-1 against AFC North foes, 7-1 on Mondays and 5-1 against teams with a winning record. For Pittsburgh, the over is on runs of 41-15-2 at home, 5-2 overall, 4-1 against the AFC and 13-3-1 at home against teams with a winning road record.
Finally, the over is 10-4 in the last 14 series clashes between these rivals, including 6-1 in Pittsburgh. So far this season, the over is 4-0 in the Monday night spotlight.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
Re: MNF Ravens at Steelers
Betting MNF totals
We’ve seen an incredible amount of offensive fireworks in the last couple Monday Night games. To say that both have gone over the total doesn’t even come close to doing it justice.
Two weeks ago, for the Cowboys-Eagles game, the two teams actually went over the total by halftime; the number was 46, and the Eagles led 30-24 after two quarters. This rare phenomenon actually almost happened again last Monday night, as the halftime score between the Chargers and Jets was 31-14 San Diego, just one point below the total of 46. The game ended up easily going over, with a 48-29 final.
The obvious question is whether this is a trend that can be taken advantage of, or if it’s just a coincidence. Well, the former theory certainly isn’t true. The only similarity between the Dallas-Philadelphia game two weeks ago and tonight’s Baltimore-Pittsburgh game is the time of the game and the network carrying it. These games have absolutely no bearing on each other.
You could argue that players are more “amped up” on Monday night, and thus the games are more likely to be high-scoring affairs, but it’s not like MNF games have been consistently going over the total for years. This was just a fandom fluctuation, albeit a pretty noticeable one.
In fact, I would even go as far as saying that the complete opposite is true—overs tend to be a terrible bet in primetime games, to the point that the under is usually a pretty good look. The reason for this is that these spotlight games attract a different makeup of bettors than a normal games.
Much more money is placed on Monday night games by casual bettors who don’t really know what they’re doing, and just want to have something riding on the game. It’s much more fun to root for a game to go over than to go under (which is really quite painful a lot of the time), so a lot more of this “square” action comes in on the over.
This has the effect of driving the total up, and obviously making the under the better play. If you check Wagerline for most of these spotlight games, this is confirmed; the percentages on the over are generally very high.
Tonight probably isn’t the best spot, as the Ravens and Steelers don’t exactly have reputations for having powerhouse offenses, but it’s something to consider in the future.
Re: MNF Ravens at Steelers
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
In 2006, the Ravens went 13-3 and they had a defense that tortured opposing offenses. In 2007, that defense was no where to be found and the Ravens won just three games. Which team will show up in 2008? So far, it looks like the 2006 version as they are 2-0 and holding opponents to just 10 points per game. But, those wins came against two bad teams in the Bengals and the Browns who are collectively averaging abour 12 points per game. The big question for Baltimore will be Joe Flacco. He has looked good so far, leading his team to a 2-0 start. But how will he fare against a very good Pittsburgh offense? If he keeps the mistakes to a minimum, the Ravens can certainly keep this game close. But, if he remembers he's a rookie, he could be in for a very long night. Pittsburgh started off very well at 2-0, winning by a combined margin of 48-23. But last week the Eagles kept them to just 6 points, handing the Steelers their first loss. Big Ben came into the game roughed up and left even worse after suffering eight sacks. He comes into this game with a bad shoulder and hand. Out for Pittsburgh is Willie Parker. The question for Pittsburgh is what kind of offense can they generate with the injuries, facing this Ravens defense. Baltimore is 11-2 ATS in their last 13 after holding an opposing quarterback to under 100 yards. But, Puttsburgh is is 36-16 ATS in their last 52 as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points. Over the past three seasons, the OVER has hit 11 of 14 times in Pittsburgh home games vs. conference opponents. The Steelers are also 13-3 OVER after scoring 14 points or less in back-to-back games. But, Baltimore is 44-25 UNDER as a road underdog over the past fifteen years. Our computer matchup for this game has the Steelers winning 21-8. What will really happen tonight?
Re: MNF Ravens at Steelers
Nick Parsons MNF Preview
Here are a few key ATS trends to keep in mind before wagering on this game:
Over the last three seasons the Ravens are a dismal 1-4 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points, are just 4-12 ATS in their road games and a brutal 1-3 ATS when playing in Monday Night action.
Over the same time frame, the Steelers are 1-2 ATS on MNF (however, dating to 1992, Pittsburgh has won 13 consecutive home games on Monday nights, which happens to be the longest all-time home win streak on MNF), they are 13-8 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points, and a superb 6-1 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points.
So, can Flacco make it three straight and can the Ravens vaunted defense hassle Big Ben?